Matthew Stafford accomplished exactly what the Los Angeles Rams hoped, guiding the franchise to earn its first Super Bowl win in over two decades. Stafford proved to be the missing piece to a championship team, cementing his place as the long-term fixture in Los Angeles.
The star quarterback’s impressive 2021 campaign capped off by a Super Bowl 56 win allows him to use Dak Prescott’s contract as the starting point for his next deal.
Matthew Stafford’s late-game heroics leads Rams to Super Bowl 56 win
The Rams entered Super Bowl 56 as the favorites to win on their home turf, but the contest proved to be anything but smooth.
Los Angeles grabbed control early behind a pair of touchdown passes from Stafford. However, a non-contact injury to Odell Beckham Jr. and an ineffective running game put significant pressure on the Pro Bowl quarterback.
The Rams’ stout defense gave Stafford and the offense multiple opportunities behind recording eight sacks and six quarterback hits on Joe Burrow. All that led to the 34-year-old orchestrating a 15-play, 79-yard drive late in the regulation resulting in a second touchdown reception for Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp.
When the Rams needed it on the final offensive possession, Stafford brought his A-game. Meanwhile, Aaron Donald and the defense clamped down to seal the deal. Stafford completed 26-of-40 passes for 283 yards with three touchdown passes to two interceptions and an 89.9 passer rating.
Beyond that, he just guaranteed a colossal payday in his next deal.
Matthew Stafford’s Super Bowl victory only validates he must use Dak Prescott’s contract as a baseline in extension talks
Hours before Mathew Stafford and the Rams hoisted the Vince Lombardi trophy, reports surfaced regarding the star quarterback’s long-term future.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport stated that the 34-year-old would work toward an extension beyond his current contract that runs through the 2022 season. Stafford had already accomplished enough in his first campaign in Los Angeles, helping the franchise reach the Super Bowl and win the NFC West title for the first time in three years.
Although his Super Bowl 56 performance wasn’t entirely clean, he did exactly what the Rams hoped. Stafford stepped up when the team needed him most with a game-winning drive. Beyond that, the outing positioned him to garner a more lucrative extension.
The two sides already hold a mutual desire for a long-term deal, which Stafford has a strong case to receive one of the league’s top salaries. He will likely use Dak Prescott’s four-year, $160 million deal as a basis. Stafford holds a firm argument that he’s accomplished more than Prescott while proving to be the missing piece to a Super Bowl-winning team.
The question then becomes will he ask for the $40 million as his salary could impinge the franchise from adding more talent around him. Stafford will undoubtedly receive a significant salary bump from the $20 million he made in 2021 and the $23 million scheduled for next season.
Nonetheless, he’s earned a massive payday coming his way quite soon.
Rams want to maintain a talented roster around their star quarterback
Matthew Stafford not only added a remarkable feat to his resume but locked in his future in Los Angeles.
The extension talks should roll through smoothly, especially after securing the franchise’s first Super Bowl win in over two decades. Before the Rams engage in those imminent discussions, general manager Les Snead will work to retain their key free agents in Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller.
Beyond that, the Rams want to keep their Super Bowl window open, signaling to maintain the roster around Stafford. Los Angeles will have to brace for Andrew Whitworth’s retirement, leaving Joseph Noteboom in line as the projected starter in 2022. Meanwhile, there is the possibility Aaron Donald could step away, which would create a crater of a void defensively.
The Rams will give Stafford the contract he deserves but must first handle other pressing matters.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.